The ESG risk of BlackRock Core Bond Portfolio's holdings is comparable to its peers in the US Fixed Income category, thus earning an average Morningstar Sustainability Rating of 3 globes. Funds in the same category rated 4 or 5 globes tend to hold securities less exposed to ESG risk. Unlike impact, which measures positive environmental and societal outcomes attributable to an investment, ESG risk reflects the degree to which investments could be affected by material ESG issues, including climate change, biodiversity, product safety, community relations, data privacy and security, bribery and corruption, and corporate governance.
One key area of strength for BlackRock Core Bond Portfolio is its low Morningstar Portfolio Carbon Risk Score of 4.99 and low fossil fuel exposure of 5.46% over the past 12 months, which earns it the Morningstar Low Carbon Designation. Thus, the companies held in the portfolio are in general alignment with the transition to a low-carbon economy.
One potential issue for a sustainability-focused investor is that BlackRock Core Bond Portfolio doesn’t have an ESG-focused mandate. Funds with an ESG-focused mandate are more likely to align with the expectations of an investor who cares about sustainability issues.
The fund has a modest level of exposure (2.44%) to companies with high or severe controversies. Companies with controversies are involved in incidents such as corruption, employee abuses, and that pose some degree of business risks to the company. Severe and high controversies can have significant financial repercussions, ranging from legal penalties to consumer boycotts. In addition, they controversies can damage the reputation of both companies themselves and their shareholders.